Very few destinations in the world offer the opportunity to shoot over (11) different species of waterfowl in one region. The small country of Uruguay proudly boasts this unrivalled variety as one of its many attractions.
Uruguay Duck Hunting
As the birds in South America begin to migrate in early May, the lagoons, potholes, and rice fields throughout the country are a primary stopping point during the migration months. The provinces of Western Uruguay offer thousands of acres of pressure free resting grounds, agriculture fields, and the guidance of the Uruguay River for the masses of migrating waterfowl. The Eastern provinces of Uruguay offer food, water, and concealed roosts throughout the endless rice fields, and massive lagoons known to this region. More specifically, the Laguna Negra and Laguna de Castillos are large bodies of water that offer protection and seclusion just minutes away from the countries largest rice producing provinces. These areas of Uruguay are saturated with ducks from early May to late September, and provide a wintering grounds attractive to all dominate species of waterfowl found in South America.
The Migration Begins
As the cold fronts begin to sweep across South America, the teal are the first to swarm the fields of Uruguay as the early migratory species. The teal population makes up a significant portion of the total waterfowl throughout the continent with (5) dominate species. The early winter months are dominated by the presence of teal, and the challenging opportunities that that provide. *Although the teal species make up the majority of the early migration, the larger species of waterfowl are also found in large numbers during this time.
The Ringed teal is among the early migrating species of waterfowl in South America. The small bird is slightly smaller in size to the green-wing teal of North America, and is colored with a unique and vibrant feather pattern, with one white ring on each wing, giving it the name “Ringed Teal.” During the migrating months, this species is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay. The Ring teal is characterized by the white rings on its wings, is baby blue bill, and soft quit peeps while in flight. As the smallest species of teal throughout Uruguay, the Ring teal provides challenging entertainment with its speed and sporty flying style. While this species is highly regarding for its beauty and acrobatic flying patterns, its greatest attraction is its rarity.
The Brazilian teal is predominately found among the early and mid season migrating species of waterfowl in South America. The Brazilian teal is the largest teal found in South America and is similar in size to a wood duck or blue-wing in North America. The Brazilian teal is characterized by its blood red beak, iridescent green wings, their tendency to fly at low altitudes in large groups of (10-15). They are recognized by a loud weeping whistle while in flight, and will most likely be heard before seen. As one of the strongest populations of teal species throughout Uruguay, the Brazilian teal commonly dominated the lagoons and potholes during the winter months. As a constant presence across the country, this species is highly regarded for its willingness to decoy.
The Speckled teal is among the early migrating species of waterfowl in South America. This teal species is also small in size and most comparable to the green-wing teal of North America. The Speckled Teal is characterized by its speckled feather patterns, yellow beak, and speedy, acrobatic flying style. This species finds comfort in numbers, and tends to fly in large groups of (2-12). Their natural tendencies are to fly in unpredictable patterns at low altitudes, and generally flock within their own species. It is recognized by its loud and repetitive peeps and its fearless decoying style, and highly regarded for its willingness to respond to imitation calls, and willingness to decoy.
The Silver Teal or Cappuccino teal is among the early migrating species of waterfowl in South America. The small bird is similar in size to the green-wing teal of North America, and is noted for its cappuccino cheeks, speckled feather pattern, and beautiful blue and yellow bill. The Silver Teal is unique in its flying patterns and can be found in pairs as well as large groups depending on the time of year. This teal species is recognized by its soft peeps, speedy flight, and willingness to decoy. The male and female Silver teal are identical in body size and plumage, and rarely flock outside of their species. As an early season migratory through Uruguay, the Silver teal is most commonly found in large flocks during the early winter months, and can quickly fill any lagoon or pothole with its healthy populations.
Also Available: Cinnamon Teal, Chiloe Wigeon, Yellow Billed Pintail, White-Cheeked Pintail, Red Shoveler, Rosybill Pochard, White-faced Whistling Duck
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